On Wednesday, Ontario announced its plans to reopen the province, lift public health measures, and “live with” COVID-19.
The plan to lift COVID-related public health measures will roll out over the course of March and into April, with all guidelines coming to an end before May.
From vaccine mandates to masking requirements, we’ve got the highlights for you right here:
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March 14 – vaccine mandate policies end
- Mandatory vaccination policies for employees and volunteers in long-term care homes will come to an end.
- Unvaccinated employees in hospitals and other high-risk settings will no longer need to submit to regular rapid testing for screening.
- Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility will no longer require vaccine policies to be in place.
March 21 – masking mandates end
- Masking in most indoor settings, including schools, will be lifted. Masks will still be required on public transit, in long-term care homes, retirement homes and other healthcare settings, in congregate living settings, shelters and jails.
- All other measures in schools will be lifted. There will no longer be cohorts, and daily on-site screening will also stop.
- All requirements for businesses will be removed. This includes passive screening of employees and the requirement to have an outbreak safety plan.
March 28 – Reopening Ontario Act expires
- The Reopening Ontario Act expires. There will be a final extension of the act for 30 days.
April 27 – all COVID-19 restrictions end
- Mask mandates will be lifted in the remaining spaces.
- All remaining orders under the Reopening Ontario Act will be lifted.
- All remaining healthcare directives will be lifted. This includes ending the requirement that healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients must wear N95 masks.
- The province will continue providing PPE and rapid antigen tests.